First university in the state to offer device to all new
The newest mobile device from Apple is now available to students
at Oklahoma Christian University. Fulltime undergraduate students
already receive a MacBook laptop and their choice of an iPhone or iPod
touch. As an alternative to the latter devices, undergraduate students
can now choose to pay an upgrade cost and receive an iPad.
According to Oklahoma Christian staff and faculty, the device offers
students an improved experience, especially in regard to reading and
retrieving online content.
"The bigger screen and the usability factor really make this device
stand out,” said John Hermes, vice president and chief technology
officer. "The impetus for us to add this device is that there are
potential advantages for students. The e-book reader is very advanced.
If publishers adopt this technology and develop content for it, I
believe students will have better access to course content as well as
see potential cost savings over traditional textbooks.
"The content is going to drive the long-term success of these devices
and we have already seen changes in academic content delivery methods
with the iPhone and iPod touch in the past two years.”
Oklahoma Christian faculty are also excited about potential
advantages that the iPad brings to the university.
"This is a great device for students,” said David Crismon, professor
and chair of the art and design department. "Photos and ads are so much
more realistic, especially in online magazines. The full screen option
is great and allows you to scale up without losing quality, which is not
true of the iPhone.”
For Crismon, the device is great for taking notes, managing e-mail
and using the Internet.
"The iPad is so much better for information retrieval and browsing
online,” he said. "It’s really hard to browse through a magazine or
website with the iPhone. It just has such a small screen. The same can
be said for sending e-mail from a phone. The iPad is much more like the
size of an actual book or magazine. I relate to it so much better.”
One area that Crismon could see the device enhancing is taking tests.
"This would be great for multiple choice image tests in some of my
art classes,” he said. "No laptop has the image quality of the iPad.
Plus, unlike a heavy laptop, there’s no need to carry around a
Oklahoma Christian has long been leaders in integrating technology
into an academic environment. It was the one of the first universities
in the country to offer laptops free to all students and to offer a
completely wireless campus. In the last two years, the university has
given all fulltime undergraduate students an Apple MacBook and an iPhone
or iPod touch.
"We think this device will be attractive to our students too,
especially for those who may have chosen the iPod,” Hermes said. "Some
students are locked in contracts with other providers and are unable to
switch to AT&T for access to the iPhone. Since we have a completely
wireless campus, the iPad has full functionality.”
According to Hermes, technology can transform the way students study
and learn through enhanced communication with faculty and instant access
to course content in and out of the classroom. Other areas that the
iPad has been praised for enhancing are taking notes and delivering
"The usability for e-mail and word processing is great, as well as
for making digital presentations,” Hermes said. "The iPad connects
straight to the projector, so we really see a great application for many
disciplines across campus.”
According to Crismon, finding a place and use for a third device has
not been difficult.
"Some people have said the iPad is redundant, but I don’t feel that
way, with the scale of the device. I relate to it differently than I do
to my phone or laptop. It’s great for taking notes in a meeting or a
class,” Crismon said. "I also enjoy watching movies on this device. I
don’t even consider doing that on my iPhone. There are a lot of things
we do throughout a day that each of these devices help. But there are
some tasks for which one device works much better than another, so I
think there really is a need for it.”
New undergraduate students will be able to pick up their new iPads
when fall classes begin at Oklahoma Christian.